Cleveland Named Winner of Bliss History Prize in New Lecture Hall
Describes 'Gone With the Wind' As 'Phenomenon' in Speech On Civil War Novels
Harold Van Buren Cleveland '88, of Cincinnati, Ohio and Lowell House has won the Bliss Prize for 1937 it was announced last night at the conclusion of a talk by Bernard DeVote '26 in New Lecture Hall. Richard Siegel '89 and Jay W. Kaufmann '38 were named for honorable mention.
The Prize of $100 was won in competition with the 17 undergraduates who actually took the examination of the 30 who had registered. Fifteen papers were described as "distinctly of passing grade" in the official announcement.
Purpose of the Prize as revealed in President Conant's annual report of last year was to create through appreciation of American history "a common denominator among educated men which would enable them to face the future united and unafraid."
Expectation that the examination might be extended to the general public was not confirmed last night. It is understood, however, that the unusual general interest in the Prize, as indicated by distribution of 3600 reading lists outside the College, might lead to that step.
"Gone With the Wind"
Tracing the development of the Civil War move, DeVote discussed "A Problem: The Civil War" in the first talk of a the series of three to be made this week in connection with the program for extra-curricular study of American history.
The early novels, he declared, were "intellectually innocent and emotionally native." Only in recent years have writers turned from "Southern knights who resemble John Barrymore" and realized "that people went to war too."
Representative of the new school of Civil War novels is "Gone With the Wind" which DeVote termed "important as a phenomenon, but not as a novel. The size of its public is stupendous, the book is not."